sports

April 23, 2022

STAFF REPORTER

2 min read

Likuena handed tough Afcon draw

Likuena handed tough Afcon draw

Likuena head coach, Veselin Jelusic

Story highlights

  • National team never faced Cote d’voire before
  • Coach Jelusic says his side pitted against some of the best in Africa

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THE Lesotho senior national team, Likuena have been handed a tough draw on Tuesday after being drawn in Group H alongside Cote d’voire, Zambia and Comoros for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Likuena have never faced Cote d’voire, who are already guaranteed a place at the next year tournament as the hosts, but registered victories over Comoros and Zambia in the last matches with the two country.

Likuena beat Chipolopolo at the 2021 COSAFA Cup in South Africa. Before, they had clinched a 1-0 victory over Comoros in 2017, although the Islander won the tie 2-1 in the qualifiers of the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Likuena qualified for the group stage after knocking out Seychelles over a two-legged preliminary round tie as Serbian coach Veselin Jelusic began his tenure as the national team coach.

Speaking after the draw which took place in South Africa, the experienced tactician, said he was not surprised that his side has been pitted against some of the best teams on the continent.

“Our focus for the qualifiers will be on our preparations, but we knew anyway that in our group, we will get the top ranked teams,” the Likuena coach stated.

“Regardless of the teams we are going to play, our approach will be the same, to prepare as better as we can and to respect all our opponents while at the same time, do everything possible to get the best possible results.”

The Likuena coach stated that his team would have to be at their best playing against countries such as Cote d’voire, Comoros and Zambia as they boast teams with players playing in some of the best leagues in the world.

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“Of course, Cote d’Ivoire’ are the hosts for the next year’s final and will treat the qualifiers very seriously because they have already started with their preparations to make it a successful tournament. They are a powerhouse with top professional players,” Jelusic said.

“We know that Zambia also have players in some of the best leagues in Europe like the English Premier League.

“Comoros are also a team made of professionals playing for European clubs in countries such as France, Belgium among others,” he said.

Likuena will commence their group stage campaign with an away fixture against Comoros and will be followed by a home game against Cote d’voire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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